The Hansen-Ballmer group, who is attempting to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, doesn’t like to take no for an answer.
After the NBA’s relocation committee voted to deny the relocation, the Seattle based investor group not only increased their bid for the franchise (twice) but said that if the NBA voted to reject the sale, they had a backup agreement with the Maloof family, current owners of the Kings, in which they would purchase a 20 percent stake in the franchise making them minority investors.
Why do that? It’s pretty simple. Once you’re a minority investor, you no longer need NBA approval to swap shares of the franchise unlike the current scenario where the NBA would have to agree to allow them to purchase any stake in the Kings.
The NBA, clearly aware of their attempt to go through the backdoor, isn’t amused and one owner told CBS’ Ken Berger that the deal makes “no sense”.
Asked an owner today if Hansen backup plan with Maloofs is a game-changer. ”It doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.
If the NBA wanted to allow the Seattle based Hansen-Ballmer group to purchase the Kings, they’d most certainly do so by allowing them to buy the originally agreed upon 65 percent as the last thing the NBA wants is a lame duck situation in Sacramento where the Kings flounder for a few seasons under the helm of the Maloof family until ownership is transferred.
A final resolution, at least from a Seattle-Sacramento based standpoint, should be made tomorrow as the NBA is expected to hand down their final ruling when they meet in Dallas.